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Notes: Ford Field opens Sensory Room for guests

A gift from the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation will be a quiet place for guests with sensory issues.

Syndication: The Tennessean Josie Norris / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC

On Friday, Ford Field announced the opening of the stadium’s sensory room, which will serve as a refuge for guests who need a quiet place to take a break from loud, crowded events and prefer a therapeutic environment that can develop sensory perception. With this addition, the Detroit Lions’ home stadium joins a growing list of NFL stadiums providing this accessibility service thanks to a generous donation from the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation.

Sensory rooms, like the one at the Philadelphia Eagles’ home stadium Lincoln Financial Field featured on the Today Show in 2019, are an important feature for kids and adults with autism who may need a minute to calm down during intense events. According to the tweet by the official Ford Field account, Hope Network volunteers will staff the room and training will be provided by the Autism Alliance of Michigan.

Fredi Bello’s foundation has a single mission of helping equip such sensory rooms in Michigan and spreading autism awareness. According to their website, more than 70 projects have received support, many of them at K-12 schools. The foundation also recently worked with Michigan State University to open a sensory room at the Breslin Center, home to that university’s basketball and volleyball programs. In comments to the school newspaper The State News, Bello explained how hands-on the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation’s work with the sensory rooms can be:

Fredi Bello emphasized that his foundation does not just “write checks.” Instead, he and his family go to the space, order the equipment, deliver it to the space and set it up. Fredi Bello and his family visited the Breslin Center on Father’s Day last June and spent 10 hours there setting up all the equipment.

According to the Ford Field Guest Services FAQ web page, fans who would like to use the sensory room or obtain sensory kits should visit a guest services desk or send a text message to their helpline:

As a gift from the Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation, the Ford Field Sensory Room is located on the second level. To access this room, visit any Guest Services Desk or text 313-513-8398 on game day for assistance. For another option, Sensory Kits are also available through Guest Services.

This is fantastic news! The Fredi the Pizzaman Foundation, Hope Network, and Autism Alliance of Michigan deserve a hearty round of applause for making this possible. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:

  • This is very cool:

  • David Montgomery was on Good Morning Football on Friday morning. The team posted the nearly nine-minute video of the segment on their site, and you can watch it in a web player there.

  • Brian Branch is pretty good at this coverage thing (Cam Sutton also looks decent in the middle of the pack):

  • As always, the Lions media team is outstanding.

Incidentally, ESPN’s Dave Wilson posted a long article about Hal Mumme, Dana Holgorsen, and Mike Leach titled “Untold Stories of Football’s Air Raid Revolution” this past Thursday. Some incredible stories in there too.

  • Ben Johnson is an outstanding offensive coordinator, exhibit 97:

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